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Germany bans unvaccinated people from live events and closes nightclubs as cases surge

Germany has banned unvaccinated people from much of public life including attending gigs.

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The move, made in an effort to curb a fourth wave of COVID in the country, means that only those who are fully vaccinated against the disease or have recovered from the virus in the last six months will be able allowed in cultural venues, restaurants, cinemas, leisure facilities and many shops.

The rule, so-called “2G” (meaning “genesen” for recovered in the past six months and “geimpft” for vaccinated) differs from the country’s “3G” rule which also allowed testing as a component of entry measures.

“2G” is now in force nationwide rather than select German states.

NTIA Night Time Advisors

CREDIT: Hollie Fernando/Getty

Nightclubs must close in areas where 350 cases have been recorded per 100,000 people in the past seven days (the national rate is over 400). Outdoor events are limited to 50 per cent capacity with a maximum of 15,000 attendees while indoor events are restricted to 50 per cent capacity with a maximum of 5,000 attendees. Masks are mandatory at all events.

It comes as outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel said that vaccinations could be made mandatory by February, following Austria’s confirmation of such a move the same month.

While German promoters have largely welcomed the extension of the “2G” rule to the rest of the country, some have said that they are worried about varying restrictions on social distancing and capacity, and pressed on the need for further financial support in 2022.

COVID passportsBusinesses in Scotland are now obliged by law to check the vaccination status of everyone entering most pubs, bars and night clubs. CREDIT: Rob Pinney/Getty Images

Detlef Kornett, CEO of Berlin-based promoter and ticket agency DEAG told IQ: “We believe that setting clear rules is helpful and good for our business, as long as they are sensible and rational and therefore welcome the 2G rules.

“The live industry pushed government already in the summer of this year to introduce the 2G rule for all live events. It takes away the confusion about tests, certificates and how to check and record them which overall makes operations of a live event easier. But it also encourages vaccination and it is a high vaccination rate that our industry needs in order to return to normal.

“However the 2G rule is then accompanied by capacity and social distancing– rules that vary by federal state in Germany, by indoor and outdoor and these rules are subject to interpretation.

He continued: “However that variation of rules makes touring and even single concerts impossible and results in uncertainties and injustices throughout Germany. The end result is that live events are in some instances made impossible or economically unsound.”

The news follows other safety measures being implemented or reintroduced elsewhere.

Last week, Ireland’s prime minister Micheál Martin announced a drop in capacity for indoor events such as concerts as well as an altogether shutting of nightclubs.